It is a very common fantasy that when we have our first child (or even our second) that as soon as they are born and they are handed to us we will be filled with unconditional love for this tiny, lovely creature. We imagine that we will be surrounded by this bubble of love, as we settle in with our new little family. But a fantasy is all that this idea very often is.
There may be a lucky few first time mums who feel genuine, instant love for their baby as soon as they are born, but for many of us this is not the case. And the fact that we don't feel all-encompassing love straight away is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is normal.
Rather than feel instant love when your baby is born, it is much more common to feel scared, worried or even disconnected. Especially when you are a new mum and a tiny, new person is put into your arms - you are left thinking, "Ok, but what do I do now?" It can be disappointing and upsetting to not feel that burst of love that you expected. But the good news is, that it is normal to feel this way.
We have just been through the experience that is birth and all that brings with it, and are the handed a little person who is essentially a stranger. This stranger is now ours, our complete responsibility who's every need we are now to meet (this is a scary thought when you see how fragile and vulnerable your new born is.) Don't get me wrong, you will probably be happy at the birth, I know I was. I felt a huge rush of happiness and relief, I knew as soon as he was born that I would throw myself in front of a bus to save him with no hesitation. But there was no love, just fear. The good news is that the love will come.
As the cloud of birth and pregnancy hormones leaves your body, as you get into the swing of being a mother and get over the initial surprise of the birth, the love that you were expecting at the birth will appear. You will wake up one day and realise that you are completely in love with your baby, more than you ever thought possible. You will realise that the love was there all along, it was just hidden behind the birth cloud, waiting for the right moment to come out and shine.
If you have any concerns about how you feel after the birth, about your baby, the birth or anything else - then speak to your partner, midwife, health visitor or doctor as soon as possible.